The key article in lesson 4, “Mandate for the Nations”, is Steven Hawthorne’s Mandate on the Mountain.
A summary and discussion questions are below. His central text is:
Matthew 28:18 Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
The mandate here is to disciple the nations, to make Christ followers of every ethnic group (not country) in the world. The command is to make disciples, not to go. The word for “go” in this passage means “as you are going” or “wherever you find yourselves”. We are to live and teach the message of Jesus and his instructions wherever we are. However, making disciples of all nations requires some people to cross the cultural barrier to reach other ethnic groups. The method Christ gave to accomplish this is to create communities that are identified by baptism (churches) and to teach these communities to obey the commands of Christ. He promises His presence and blessing for all who are making disciples of the nations.
Questions for Discussion and Reflection:
- What are some Bible passages that describe the qualities of a disciple? Which qualities do you think are most important?
- The command is to “make disciples” in Matthew 28. What are the best methods in your context to influence people to become disciples?
- How is discipling a nation different than discipling individuals?
- The gospel is for all nations. Has there ever been a time when you caught yourself in prejudice toward people from other races, social or economic statuses, or religions?